Letters to The Editor, Week of April 12, 2018

D.O.T. L plan is ‘madness’

To The Editor:

Re “Residents, disabled groups suing to stop ‘arrogant’ L train plan” (news article, April 5):

Kudos to Arthur Schwartz and the 14th St.-vicinity community stakeholders for forcing a review of the Department of Transportation et al.’s unripe plan. It is a sad commentary on our city, state and federal agencies that nothing short of a lawsuit can bring these entities tasked with serving the public to really consider our well-being and safety.

While D.O.T. defends itself by claiming “extensive community outreach since the closure was announced,” there has been none in the Petrosino Square area.

Yet we, who live on the already unbearably congested Williamsburg Bridge-to-Holland Tunnel route — choked by vehicular traffic that is already an environmental health hazard — have received no outreach whatsoever. Meanwhile, D.O.T. hurtles forward, to glut us with up to 70 diesel-fueled buses an hour coming off the Williamsburg Bridge. This way madness lies.

Georgette Fleischer


Would be L for us, too!

To The Editor:

Re “Residents, disabled groups suing to stop ‘arrogant’ L train plan” (news article, April 5):

I’m glad that the residents of Greenwich Village and Chelsea are organizing to protest this disastrous plan, but the residents of the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Nolita and Soho will be affected, as well.

My neighborhood of Nolita (where 70 buses an hour will run across Kenmare St. and up Cleveland Place, if this plan goes forward) is already under siege because of traffic, noise and pollution. This plan will be the final nail in the coffin.

Furthermore, I have not been made aware of any community outreach. And the studies that are being used to push this plan forward don’t account for the 100,000 or so for-hire vehicles that are already clogging our streets.

A much better plan would be to do the tunnel-repair work only at night and on weekends (something that would itself cause a major disruption, but not as much as a complete shutdown).

The residents of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, the Lower East Side, Chinatown, Nolita and Soho should make our voices heard — at community board meetings, public hearings and the ballot box.

Paul Hallasy


‘Nightlife Mayor is a scam’

To The Editor:

Re “Activists cautiously hopeful on ‘N’life Mayor’: But boss Menin gives confidence” (news article, April 5):

There is an active law on the books, the Padavan Law, also called the 500-Foot Law, that prohibits more than three liquor licenses within 500 feet of each other, “UNLESS the Public Interest is served” by granting additional licenses. The courts have ruled that the spurious claim that it “creates jobs and taxes” is not justified, since any business does that.

So what is Menin’s and Palitz’s position on this? The law has clearly been violated. Yet, they are silent. This “Nightlife Mayor” is a scam. It was pushed by the nightlife shills, including City Councilmember Rafael Espinal, who received campaign contributions from members of the nightlife industry.

Frank Rafferty


Doors article really swung

To The Editor:

Re “Street salvation: Hotel Chelsea doors to be auctioned” (news article, April 5):

Interesting article. Jerry Poynton, the executor of Herbert Huncke’s literary estate, was asking me about this sale. And here you, Cary Abrams, cleared up all the questions. I sent him a link to your article.

Herbert lived in Linda Twigg’s room at the Chelsea Hotel. Linda sold pot and ran an underground gambling club. Those were the days, my friend. I’m not a gambler, but took some photos in there and met many amazing people, which led to memorable adventures.

Clayton Patterson


Chelsea memories

To The Editor:

Re “Street salvation: Hotel Chelsea doors to be auctioned” (news article, April 5):

Very good and comprehensive piece, Cary. I was there off and on during 1968 to ’72, sharing Room 528.

It used to be said, “Where do you go after the Chelsea, the Bowery?” But even that is too expensive nowadays.

I’m glad that Jim Georgiou has a home and I hope some wealthy rock star or artist has use for the “doors of perception” that was the Chelsea back in the day.

Thelma Blitz


No respect for Rubin

To The Editor:

Re “Radical vets recall Yippie-turned-Yuppie Rubin” (news article, April 5):

I knew Abbie and Jerry pretty well back in the day. I had covered the Panther 21 trial for the East Village Other and WBAI. After the trial ended, Abbie and Jerry asked me to help reform the Yippie Party. One of our events was welcoming John and Yoko at Jerry’s apartment in Westbeth.

I came to think that Abbie was brilliant. I suspect he committed suicide due to depression after his car accident.

The more I knew Jerry, the less I respected him. I even attended one of his networking parties in his Upper East Side apartment, where one of the attendees asked me how I knew Jerry. I said, “The movement.” He asked, “What movement?”

Jacqueline Friedrich


Zippies vs. Yippies

To The Editor:

Re “Radical vets recall Yippie-turned-Yuppie Rubin” (news article, April 5):

Oh, I put sugar in Ed Sanders’s gas tank and peed in it, all right, and did a lot of other things, too, to the rival-faction Yippies. I left crabs I found in Spiro Agnew’s garbage in front of Bob Fass’s storefront, stenciled “ZIPPIE!” on his car, cranked him with the words “GET PLATE GLASS INSURANCE,” sent him a letter on New York City official stationery, which I also found in the garbage, that he was getting evicted.

As for Jerry Rubin, I got some latex and a blockbuster and put it on his window, then attached a cigarette fuse and blew out the window. If you modify a firecracker, it’s a bomb. Abbie sent around some guys who claimed to be Italian and told me I was messing with Little Italy and would get whacked.

But later, I supplied Abbie with an ounce of reefer a week and $100. I met him in front of Blockbuster Video at Second Ave. and 34th St. because I didn’t want him drawing heat to the safe house. Rubin brought me some pot customers and everything was cooled out. He invented social networking.

As for Fass, Bill Propp and I rented a truck and drove Bob’s archives to New Jersey when he was virtually homeless, and I paid several years in advance, so he would not loose this trove of history. My last fight with Fass was over idolizing Larry Davis, a psychopath who, even in prison, terrorized other prisoners.

It would have been nice, if I had gone to the book reading, to see Larry “Ratso” Sloman, who did the first article about Dylanology in the Queens College newspaper and who introduced me to the people at the East Village Other. Also would have been good to see Paul Krassner, because I read The Realist from cover to cover while in Erasmus Hall High School. Krassner hates me because of the last anti-Fass operation, so what are you going to do?

It’s all in the past, and like Mort Sahl — a fan of my “Tramp shot J.F.K.” theory — said, “The Future Lies Ahead.” And when you reach 73, we realize we all share a common fate.

A. J. Weberman


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